The Royale Danish Theatre - Copenhagen

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*





Royal Danish Theatre
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The Royal Danish Theatre
Denmark's National Theatre
Online & Onsite Sightseeing - Copenhagen
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The Old Stage - where Ballet - Opera and Drama has been performed since 1874.
© The Royal Danish Theatre - Photo Ole Haupt

The Royal Danish Theatre - The Danish National Stage
Denmark’s National Theatre is The Royal Danish Theatre and since 1748 been located at Kongens Nytorv in the very heart of Copenhagen.

Theatre since 1748
The very first Theatre building seated 800 spectators and was at that time to little for a city of the size of Copenhagen. On the occasion of the opening of the theatre in 1748 - there were just 8 actors and 4 actresses - and they performed French comedies. In 1774 the theatre was rebuilt to house a larger audience. The Theatre was a sort of Comedy House and over the following years the Royal Danish Theatre was established as a venue for all the performing arts - ballet - opera - dramas - plays and the royal orchestra.

Comedy house in 1748
The first comedy house on Kongens Nytorv from 1748, where the actors performed French comedies and plays. In 1774 the theatre was rebuilt to house a larger audience.
The new Royal Theatre completed in 1874
The new Royal Danish Theatre in 1885 was completed in 1874 - with seating facilities for almost 1600 theatregoers - and a special designed balcony for members of the Royal family.
New Theatre – 1874 and Nicolai Eigtved
A new Theatre House called “The Old Stage” was build and inaugurated in 1874 - seating 1600 people and equipped with a special balcony for members of the Royal family. The building that houses the Royal Danish Theatre is designed by the royal court architect and master of Danish rococo Nicolai Eigtved (1701-1754) - who also was the master planner of fashionable Frederiksstad quarters, where the Amalienborg palaces are located.

Hans Christian Andersen
It was in this Royal Theatre the famous author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) at the age of 14 challenged his ambitions to start a career in the theatrical world as an
actor, singer and ballet-dancer. It was during this theatrical environment between 1820–1850 the Golden Age of fine arts started and the Royal Danish Theatre became the centre of world culture - according to many Danes!
Goethe performed at the Old Stage
The classic drama Faust from 1814 by Johann Wolfgang Goethe performed at the Old Stage in a new set up and a new challenging performance. © The Royal Danish Theatre.
Modern Drama
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams - won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955, performed on the Old Stage with Trine Dyrholm. © The Royal Danish Theatre - Photo Thomas Petri.
Drama by Tennessee Williams
The New Stage
Later a new theatre building created in Art Deco style called “The New Stage” was inaugurate in 1931 - primarily to be used for comedies and more modern plays. Today
The Theatre’s programme is highly diversified - and features more than 600 annual performances of drama - ballet and opera conducted on 6 large stages that are spread all over the city.

The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is world famous and has given hundreds of international performances worldwide. The Ballet School was established in 1771 and Vincenzo Galeotti was the first Ballet Master in 1775 to bring stability to the theatre. He is announced as the father of the Royal Danish Ballet - creating around 50 works for the Danish stage before his death in 1816.
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) challenged his ambitions at the age of 14 to start a career in the theatrical world at Royal Theatre - without much success. He later became a world famous writer. Painting by C. A. Jensen 1936.
August Bournonville
The founder of the Danish ballet August Bournonville (1805-1879) - who created a ballet style based on specific ideals and unique training techniques for the ballet corps and soloists. Painting by Carl Bloch 1876.
August Bournonville
The most renowned name in Danish ballet is that of August Bournonville (1805-1879). It is due to him that a clearly defined style of ballet was created, based on specific ideals and unique training techniques. His works were numerous, and about ten of them are still being performed to this day. The Royal Danish Ballet thus possesses a treasure trove of 19th century ballets unmatched by any other company in the world.

Harald Lander
Another great period of the Danish Royal Ballet came in 1932 - when Harald Lander took over the management of the corps. He both adapted traditional ballets and choreographed original works for the company - thus creating prominent works and legendary stage productions that won international praise and recognition.
Ballet “Manon” by Abbe Prevost
The ballet “Manon” by Abbe Prevost is performed at the Royal Theatre in 3 Acts and 7 Scenes - and was first performed in 1974 by Britain's Royal Ballet. © The Royal Danish Theatre - Photo Henrik Stenberg.
Harald Lander’s classical ballet “Etudes”
Harald Lander’s classical ballet “Etudes” is one of the most respected and demanding works to perform for ballet dancers. Schumann’s 2nd Symphony accompanies the performance.
The Danish Ballet Company
Even though the Danish Ballet Company has to maintain a repertoire of some breadth - from Bournonville to barefoot stomps - the backbone of the Danish Ballet Company at Kongens Nytorv remains the works of August Bournonville, who was effectively celebrated in 2005 of the bicentenary of his birth. The Danish Ballet Corps has an international reputation of having one of the finest corps of dancers in the world, incorporating foreign as well as native-born talents that have performed all over the world.
Royal Danish Ballet Corps
The Royal Danish Opera
Opera was the favourite pastime of the royal Danish court - and in the early days only Italian operas were performed with entrusted actors - who had been imported from abroad.

Weyse and Kuhlau
Soon efforts were made to create musical drama in a national setup and during the first decades of the 1800’s the most prominent Danish composers of new musical productions were Weyse and Kuhlau. It was the appointment in 1883 of Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen to the post of conductor that started the golden age of opera at the Royal Danish Theatre. The 1900’s saw a whole range of enterprising Musical Directors serving the theatre for all of 50 years, from 1925 to 1975.
Opera with Danish sub titles
One of the earliest masterpieces in operatic history “ Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria” performed at the Old Stage. Ulisse was performed in Italian with Danish sub titles. © The Royal Danish Theatre - Photo Martin Mydtskov Rønne.
Puccini’s classic opera ”Tosca”
Puccini’s classic opera ”Tosca” is one of the most dramatic of operas ever played at the Old Stage - and is based on Victorien Sardou's drama, La Tosca. The opera premiered in Rome 1900. © The Royal Danish Theatre - Photo Miklos Szabo.
Development of the Danish Opera
Since 1990 - the Royal Danish Theatre has made a consistent attempt both to promote the opera in an international scale and to improve genuine artistic values in a larger dimension. The opera boasts a large ensemble of gifted soloists of which many pursue successful international careers in opera houses all over the world.

Increased public interest
Over the past decades - The Royal Danish Opera has seen an increase in public interest and various efforts have been made to reach out to potential audiences from the younger generation of theatregoers.

New Opera House
Further development of the Royal Danish Opera will take place in the new “Opera House” on the island of Holmen - which has spacious facilities and ideal for major romantic and classic opera productions together with a fantastic acoustic sound excellence that gives the audience an outstanding experience and extraordinary performance.
The Royal Danish Orchestra
The Royal Danish Orchestra (Det Kongelige Kapel) is based in the Royal Danish Theatre and is the oldest orchestra in the world. Their roots originate from the musicians and trumpeters that served the court of King Christian I (1426-1481).
Outstanding art performances since 1874
After more than a century - the old theatre building from 1874 is still standing majestic and pompous - while overlooking Kongens Nytorv with many years of history and outstanding art performances for theatre lovers and theatregoers.
The Royal Danish Theatre is located on Kongens Nytorv (Kings Square) and is a part of all the exclusive buildings and mansions that surround the square. Nearby is Nyhavn - the Pedestrian Street "Strøget" - Hvids Vinstue (Vine bar from 1773) - The French Embassy -
Charlottenborg - Hotel D'Angleterre and the Metro Station.
The Royal Danish Theatre


Det Kongelige Teater
The Royal Danish Theatre
Kongens Nytorv
1055 Copenhagen K

Busses: A1 - 15 - 26 - 20E and 350S

Trains - Metro Station at Kongens Nytorv

Distance from Town Hall Square 6 km. and expect 25-30 min. by walk.

The Royal Danish Theatre
(Denmark's National Theatre)


The Opera - on the island of Holmen



The Opera
Ekvipagemestervej 10
1438 København K

Busses: 66

Yellow Harbour Busses
Copenhagen Water Taxi
The Opera - on the island of Holmen.

The Royal Danish Playhouse

Sankt Annæ Plads 36
1250 København K

Busses: 29 - 65E

Water Taxi - Copenhagen Water Taxi sails to and from the Royal Playhouse

Distance from Town Hall Square 5 km. and expect
20-30 min. by walk.

The Royal Danish Playhouse at the waterfront of the city harbour - is situated opposite the Opera.
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